Hard rain and blooming tulips are not as compatible as you’d think given both tend to appear in early spring. So fans of the annual bloom around Golden Gate Park’s Dutch Windmill held their breath during the weekend’s rough weather, waiting to see whether thousands of tulips survived the storms.
“They’re doing fine!” reports Tamara Aparton of SF Recreation and Parks, who says several other natural park areas of the city are experiencing a "superbloom” as a result of this year’s generous precipitation.
The star of this year’s tulip show in the Queen Wilhelmina Garden is the new “London N. Breed” bloom. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands gifted the city the Dutch bulbs during her visit to San Francisco last September. The pink-and-white bloom is inspired by the attire of the queen and the mayor during her tour of the city.
“As it is customary in the Netherlands to express gratitude with flowers, 5,000 bulbs of the London N. Breed tulip have been planted as a symbol of the enduring friendship between the Netherlands and San Francisco,” said Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in San Francisco Dirk Janssen.
And Breed’s blooms are only the half of it: Fully 10,000 tulips are planted in the garden at the base of the windmill at the northwestern end of Golden Gate Park every spring, with peak bloom typically arriving in March. But with more rain in the forecast during this winter of historic storms, flower fans might want to get out to the park during today’s break in the rain.
“A trip to the Queen Wilhelmina Garden in spring is always spectacular, with thousands of colorful tulips beneath one of two windmills that pumped water for Golden Gate Park’s irrigation system more than a century ago,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg.
This weekend, tulip lovers can bring home their own flowers on Saturday, March 4, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. when American Tulip Day returns to Union Square. Visitors are invited to pick a bouquet from the approximately Dutch 80,000 blooms set out in the square in honor of International Women’s Day.
Bandshell Concerts Begin
Kicking off tonight, the Illuminate Live series will bring a diverse lineup of performers to give more than 100 free concerts in the Golden Gate Park Bandshell near the Academy of Sciences.
In honor of International Women's Day, all concerts in March will feature women or women-fronted bands. The season kickoff on March 1 will feature three female singer-songwriters: Common De Nomi, Frances Ancheta Becker and Nikki Nash. For more information, click here for the series calendar.
Maryann Jones Thompson can be reached at [email protected]